Australian SF awards season


There has been so much controversy surrounding the shortlist for the Hugo Awards over the last couple of weeks that international readers may be forgiven for thinking it was the only speculative fiction awards news of any note. However, Australian readers will know this is certainly not the case. Over the Easter weekend, the Australian National Science Fiction Convention (Natcon) took place in conjunction with SwanCon 40 in Perth, Western Australia. The event saw the presentation of the Australian SF awards (the Ditmars).

For those unfamiliar with Australian speculative fiction awards, the Ditmars are Australia’s equivalent of the Hugos. Anyone in fandom can nominate, and attendees of the current and previous Natcons get to vote on the shortlist. There’s a full list of nominees and winners, but for now I’d just like to congratulate Helen Stubbs on winning Best New Talent. I published one of Helen’s first stories in Winds of Change and have been delighted to see her build on that so successfully.

I’d also like to congratulate Donna Maree Hanson on being presented the A. Bertram Chandler Award. Donna has been a guest here previously and this award recognises the huge contribution she has made to the Australian speculative fiction community. She was the inaugural president of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild and has been involved in running several Conflux conventions. There’s hardly a member of the Australian speculative fiction community she doesn’t know (or so it seems) and she has done a great deal to make the scene a warm and welcoming one. It is wonderful to see her hard work recognised.

Less than a week after the Ditmars were presented, segments of the community gathered again–this time on the east side of the continent–for the 2014 Aurealis Awards. Instead of being voted on by fandom, the Aurealis Awards are judged by panels of industry professionals. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the awards. Guests were invited to dress up in 90s costume (and several did, as you can see in Cat Sparks’ Flickr album). Master of Ceremonies Margo Lanagan treated us to excerpts of stories that won the inaugural awards, setting many people squirming when it came to the horror category.

Angela Slatter had an excellent year, winning every category for which she was nominated. Fortunately, she’d had the foresight to write a slightly different acceptance speech for each category.

Having taken out the Ditmar for Best Collected Work, Kaleidoscope, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios, added to its accolates by snagging the Aurealis Award for Best Anthology.

A full list of nominees and winners is below. Congratulations to all!


Fireborn, Keri Arthur (Hachette Australia)

This Shattered World, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)

The Lascar’s Dagger, Glenda Larke (Hachette Australia)

Dreamer’s Pool, Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld (Penguin Books Australia)

Daughters of the Storm, Kim Wilkins (Harlequin Enterprises Australia)


“The Oud”, Thoraiya Dyer (Long Hidden, Crossed Genres Publications)

“Teratogen”, Deb Kalin (Cemetery Dance, #71, May 2014)

“The Ghost of Hephaestus”, Charlotte Nash (Phantazein, FableCroft Publications)

“St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls”, Angela Slatter (The Review of Australian Fiction, Volume 9, Issue 3)

“The Badger Bride”, Angela Slatter (Strange Tales IV, Tartarus Press)


Aurora: Meridian, Amanda Bridgeman (Momentum)

Nil By Mouth, LynC (Satalyte)

The White List, Nina D’Aleo (Momentum)

Peacemaker, Marianne de Pierres (Angry Robot)

This Shattered World, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)

Foresight, Graham Storrs (Momentum)


“The Executioner Goes Home”, Deborah Biancotti (Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 11 Issue 6)

“Wine, Women and Stars”, Thoraiya Dyer (Analog Vol CXXXIV nos 1&2 Jan/Feb) 

“The Glorious Aerybeth”, Jason Fisher (OnSpec, 11 Sep 2014)

“Dellinger”, Charlotte Nash (Use Only As Directed, Peggy Bright Books)

“Happy Go Lucky”, Garth Nix (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)


Book of the Dead, Greig Beck (Momentum)

Razorhurst, Justine Larbalestier (Allen & Unwin) 

Obsidian, Alan Baxter (HarperVoyager)


“The Executioner Goes Home”, Deborah Biancotti (Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 11 Issue 6)

“Skinsuit”, James Bradley (Island Magazine 137)

“By the Moon’s Good Grace”, Kirstyn McDermott (Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 12, Issue 3)

“Shay Corsham Worsted”, Garth Nix (Fearful Symmetries, Chizine)

“Home and Hearth”, Angela Slatter (Spectral Press)


The Astrologer’s Daughter, Rebecca Lim (Text Publishing)

Afterworld, Lynnette Lounsbury (Allen & Unwin)

The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Clariel, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)

The Haunting of Lily Frost, Nova Weetman (UQP)

Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld (Penguin Books Australia)


“In Hades”, Goldie Alexander (Celapene Press)

“Falling Leaves”, Liz Argyll (Apex Magazine)

“The Fuller and the Bogle”, David Cornish (Tales from the Half-Continent, Omnibus Books)

“Vanilla”, Dirk Flinthart (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)

“Signature”, Faith Mudge (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)


Slaves of Socorro: Brotherband #4, John Flanagan (Random House Australia)

Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Karen Foxlee (Hot Key Books)

The Last Viking Returns, Norman Jorgensen and James Foley (ILL.) (Fremantle Press)

Withering-by-Sea, Judith Rossell (ABC Books)

Sunker’s Deep: The Hidden #2, Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

Shadow Sister: Dragon Keeper #5, Carole Wilkinson (Black Dog Books) 


The Female Factory, Lisa L Hannett and Angela Slatter (Twelfth Planet Press)

Secret Lives, Rosaleen Love (Twelfth Planet Press)

Angel Dust, Ian McHugh (Ticonderoga Publications)

Difficult Second Album: more stories of Xenobiology, Space Elevators, and Bats Out Of Hell, Simon Petrie (Peggy Bright Books)

The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, Angela Slatter (Tartarus Press)

Black-Winged Angels, Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga Publications)


Kisses by Clockwork, Liz Grzyb (Ed) (Ticonderoga Publications)

Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios (Eds), (Twelfth Planet Press)

Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction, Dominica Malcolm (Ed) (Solarwyrm Press)

Reach for Infinity, Jonathan Strahan (Ed) (Solaris Books)

Fearsome Magics, Jonathan Strahan (Ed) (Solaris Books)

Phantazein, Tehani Wessely (Ed) (FableCroft Publishing)


Left Hand Path #1, Jason Franks & Paul Abstruse (Winter City Productions)

Awkwood, Jase Harper (Milk Shadow Books)

“A Small Wild Magic”, Kathleen Jennings (Monstrous Affections, Candlewick Press)

Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye, Tim Molloy (Milk Shadow Books)

The Game, Shane W Smith (Deeper Meanings Publishing)